City helps fitness group in funding search

Organizers aim for Nov. 1 start date for basic centre



Iqaluit may be a hop, skip and a jump away from a healthier lifestyle after city council agreed to support the newly created Iqaluit Fitness Society in its search for funding.

The municipality granted a letter of recommendation after Peter Scholz, the group’s representative, presented a preliminary business plan during the city’s Aug. 26 council meeting.

Scholz, who along with a handful of other volunteers began the IFS only six weeks ago, said council’s support should open many doors as his organization attempts to build an affordable public fitness centre in Iqaluit.

“Getting this letter was almost a prerequisite to our getting funding,” Scholz said. “I think I’m going to be screaming up and down when I leave.”

The society hopes to use the letter as it applies for grants under the Community Initiatives and Brighter Futures programs.

The IFS is a not-for-profit group that wants to make fitness more affordable in Nunavut’s capital. Right now the city’s only public indoor weight and fitness room is housed at the Frobisher Bay Racquet Club. Access to the club comes with a hefty $535 initiation fee plus an approximate $100 monthly fee.

The IFS proposes a less expensive option – a $100 sign up fee for regular members and monthly fees of only $40. It also plans on offering discounts to athletes and underprivileged youth, Scholz said.

The society has already found a space for its centre – a 3,300-square-foot wing of a Coman Arctic property near Iqaluit airport. Coman Arctic has agreed to provide the space free for five months because the project is community-driven.

The next step is for the IFS to get the letter of recommendation in its hands, apply for the grants and then use the anticipated money to start a basic centre by Nov. 1.

But Scholz said in order to ensure equipment will make the sealift season, IFS board members may purchase the initial materials with their own credit cards.

“We want to hit the sealift so we can start operations around Halloween,” he said.

The fitness centre will offer a weight and cardiovascular training room, aerobics and yoga classes as well as an Arctic Winter Games training program.

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